Hey everyone. Welcome to a new decade. It’s the first column of 2020, so I bet you're expecting a cliché piece about New Year's resolutions, and how we all should reflect on what has been while looking forward to what may be.

Well, sure… I may throw in a little of that in this one, but I promise it’s not all cliché New Year crap. This month I want to talk to you about the world and where our community, and ourselves as individuals, fit in it.

It really feels like the world is falling apart, doesn’t it? An entire continent is on fire in the south Pacific, never-ending earthquakes in Puerto Rico, and it feels like we’re constantly on the brink of a disastrous war with someone. Climate change, impeachment, education, opioid crises, etc. It’s overwhelming.

I find myself in a state of panic over these things at least four or five times a day. It feels like nothing short of a big, dramatic, all-encompassing miracle can save the world from itself, and we’re constantly searching for a way to make that grand miracle happen.

We can’t, though. We are incapable of fixing all the world’s problems and making everything right. It’s just not possible. Knowing this is arguably more stressful, sure, but it doesn’t mean we’re helpless. What I’m trying to say is that maybe the solution isn’t something big, or grand on a global scale. Maybe the way we fix the world is by focusing a little closer to home on the things we can control.

Maybe the answer is helping a stranger with their groceries. Maybe it’s helping a neighbor paint their house. Maybe it’s giving the waitress a little extra in the tip even if the service wasn’t that great because she’s got a tough job and who knows what’s going on at home. Maybe it’s being nicer to the cashier at the store, because he’s had to deal with difficult people all day and you’re not making it any better. Maybe it’s caring about our community enough to get together and make improvements ourselves instead of waiting for the government (city, county, state or federal) to cut through miles of red tape.

There is something wrong with the world, undoubtedly. And sure, Santa Cruz County has its issues. But why do we just sit here and wait for someone to fix it? It’s our right and our responsibility to do something, and every little act of good helps.

“Qualis est vir qui mundum non meliorem reddat?” (“What is a man who does not make the world better?”)

(The Wright Idea is a monthly column created by Nogales author Joe Wright in honor of his father’s long-time NI column, The Wright Stuff. Contact him at josephw575@gmail.com.)

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